Bayern Munich have slammed reports suggesting they threatened to exclude Mario Gotze from their Champions League squad if he chose to stay at the club for next season.
Reports in the German media claimed that Bayern had advised the 24-year-old to leave and would keep him out of Europe's premier club competition if he refused to do so.
But Bayern angrily denied those claims, directly referencing the allegations of their Champions League threat when releasing a statement that "demanded that media sources cease and desist from reporting false claims".
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "This is complete fiction. It remains the case that we will resolutely defend ourselves against all false or even malicious reporting using all legal means available to us."
Gotze has one year remaining on his Bayern deal and has been linked with moves to former club Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, who are managed by ex-BVB boss Jurgen Klopp.
The playmaker has been at Bayern for three seasons after signing from Dortmund for EUR37 million in July 2013, but only started 11 league matches in 2015-16 after a campaign interrupted by injury.
Gotze scored the winning goal in Germany's World Cup final success in 2014 and is with the squad at Euro 2016.